By Dr. Milton R. Wolf:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” warned the late President Reagan. It’s probably a good thing the Gipper hasn’t been forced to witness what the current generation of authoritarian rulers has done to the land of the free and home of the brave.
The provision of health care should not demand “giving up” religious liberty. Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.
The strangest accusation in this manipulated public discussion has the bishops not respecting the separation between church and state. The bishops would love to have the separation between church and state we thought we enjoyed just a few months ago, when we were free to run Catholic institutions in conformity with the demands of the Catholic faith, when the government couldn’t tell us which of our ministries are Catholic and which not, when the law protected rather than crushed conscience. The state is making itself into a church. The bishops didn’t begin this dismaying conflict nor choose its timing. We would love to have it ended as quickly as possible. It’s up to the government to stop the attack.
by John F. McManus:
When the World War II ended in 1945, only five percent of adult Americans were college graduates. Many returning veterans took advantage of the GI Bill of Rights and headed for colleges and universities. The number earning a degree grew dramatically. But, back then, a college degree meant you had absorbed some real knowledge, become proficient in some discipline, could think on your own, and knew where to go to get what else you might have needed.
Especially was it true that you would learn something about your country — what made it the envy of the world and how to protect it from anyone who would change it. You might have learned some of these basics in a secondary school that prepared you to demonstrate to a college entrance board that you were ready for advanced learning.
Things changed over the years. The hippies, yippies, and counter-culture advocates dominated the college scene in the 1960s and beyond. They got their degrees and many became college and university instructors. Scholarship that used to prevail went out the window and in came studies that steered the minds of young people away from traditional values and toward instruction in social causes, even revolution. Along the way, the price of gaining a degree skyrocketed as facilities grew fancier and the salaries of an ever-swelling faculty population soared.
Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Arrested: May 2011
Days Imprisoned: 273
Behnam Irani, a 41-year-old pastor from Kraj, Iran, was convicted of crimes against national security in January 2011 and sentenced to one year in prison. After voluntarily surrendering to authorities on May 31 to begin his sentence, he learned that he would be forced to serve five years in connection with a previous conviction.
Officers from the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security (MOIS) raided Irani’s house church on April 14, 2010, and assaulted him before taking him into custody. Although he was released on bail two months after his arrest, he later received the one-year prison sentence.
When Irani voluntarily began serving his sentence in May 2011, he was prepared to spend one year in prison. But he received a letter in October stating that he must now serve five years from his previous sentence.
Irani was first arrested in December 2006 and tried for crimes against national security. He was released in January 2007 but was soon re-arrested, tried and sentenced to five years in prison. Irani was never called to serve the sentence that is now being held against him.
Irani became a pastor in 2002, 10 years after becoming a Christian. Please pray for his wife and two children as they wait for him to return home.
You may also write a letter of encouragement to Pastor Irani to let him know you are praying for him. Please do not speak negatively of the Iranian government in your letter or mention the name of the organization that provided this information.
Irani is Ill – February 2012
The family of Behnam Irani are very concerned over reports of his ill health. He is experiencing some sort of intestinal disorder. His family is very concerned because his brother died from intestinal cancer. Please pray for his health, as well as for his family.
Pastor Irani Being Mistreated and in Poor Health
For the first few months of his sentence, Behnam Irani was held in solitary confinement in a very small cell. Afterward, he was moved to another small cell with other prisoners. The room was so full, the prisoners were not able to lie down to sleep, so they had to sit all day and night. The room also got very hot.
Pastor Behnam is now in a normal cell, but authorities have asked for him to be beaten regularly. All his hair has turned white, and his friends fear he may lose the use of his foot, due to a severe foot injury.
Please keep Behnam and his family in your prayers.
By James Lewis:
In the next 60 days Obama’s presidential career will finally meet that concrete wall of reality. He will either fail or survive. Trouble is, he might take many innocent people with him if he fails.
So far, the most hyped-up and unqualified president in US history has shown no capacity at all to act, in the face of a do-or-die challenge. This is the ultimate test of character, the one that John F. Kennedy met well enough in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. This is the test that Jimmy Carter failed so miserably that Ronald Reagan beat him handily in the following election. This is the same test of reality that every single Democratic Administration has tried to avoid; it’s the reason why Bill Clinton refused to do anything about Osama Bin Laden when he had four separate chances to take him out.
This time, abject apologies to ranting Pakistani mobs will not make a smidgen of difference. Even Axelrod’s disinformation campaigns can’t save Obama now, because that 3 am phone call is almost sure to come by April Fool’s Day of 2012, when the real fool will stand revealed to the world.
by Billy Hallowell:
Iran‘s state TV described the country’s first foreign film Oscar win Monday as a victory over archfoe Israel, a rare nod of approval toward a movie industry often criticized by Iranian hardliners.
The official reaction to the victory of “A Separation” in Sunday‘s Academy Awards ceremony was cast mostly in nationalist terms amid a mounting showdown between Israel and its Western allies over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The Israeli film “Footnote” was in the competition against director Asghar Farhadi’s movie, which explores troubles in Iranian society through the story of a marriage breaking apart.
by Ed Morrissey:
Nazis, anti-Semites, and … Obama? Oh my. Dershowitz explains that Media Matters seems to only have dual-loyalty issues on one topic alone:
Let there be no doubt that Rosenberg’s accusation of dual or singular loyalty to a foreign country is an anti-Semitic canard historically reserved for Jews. Rosenberg doesn’t accuse Arab Americans who support Hamas and Hezbollah — America’s sworn enemies — of being “Palestine firsters.” Nor did he accuse Irish Americans who supported the Sinn Fein of being “Ireland firsters.”
Well, as an American of Irish descent, I can tell you that I had a term for the latter group, which I can’t write here at Hot Air but which rhymes with “bassbowls.” I never thought of them as less than American; I thought they were less than sentient, supporting terrorism in the name of political change in someone else’s country. That only substantiates Dershowitz’ point, of course, and he’s absolutely correct in exposing that hypocrisy.
by Hani Bader:
Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s security forces last week killed Husam al Murra, a Syrian Christian who had joined the Syrian Free Army, which is fighting to topple the regime in Damascus.
Assad is angry with the Christians in his country because most of them have refused to support his atrocities against the Syrian people.
He is also angry with them because many Christians have played a major role in relief work to help the victims of Assad’s bloody crackdown on his opponents.
At the beginning of the uprising, Assad’s government forced leaders of the Christian community in Syria to hold public events in support of the regime. The leaders were instructed to pledge their loyalty to Assad and condemn the opposition as a “bunch of terrorists backed by the Zionists and the US.”
But as Assad’s forces stepped up their massacres and repression of the people, most Christians began speaking out against the regime, especially on Facebook and other social media networking.
by Raymond Ibrahim:
Graham, however, was absolutely right to say that, “under Islamic law, the Muslim world sees Barack Obama as a Muslim, as a son of Islam”: according to Sharia law [Islamic religious law, which regulates all parts of a Muslim’s life], if one’s father is Muslim, one automatically becomes Muslim. The reason behind last week’s church attack in Egypt, when thousands of Muslims tried to torch a church and kill its pastor, is that a Christian girl fled from her father after he converted to Islam: she did not want to be Muslim, and was rumored to be hiding in the church. This is not the first time in recent months that churches have been attacked on similar rumors.
In short, Sharia law’s position is that anyone born to a Muslim father is a Muslim—with the death penalty should they seek to apostatize: the 34-year-old Iranian pastor sentenced to death simply for converting to Christianity is just the most visible example.
BY: Adam Kredo:
The co-author of a provocative report on “Islamophobia” has ties to a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organization and is the host of a website known for trafficking in radical, anti-Israel propaganda.
In case after case, the Espionage Act has been deployed as a kind of ad hoc Official Secrets Act, which is not a law that has ever found traction in America, a place where the people’s right to know is viewed as superseding the government’s right to hide its business.
by Raymond Ibrahim:
With only a 12% Muslim minority, and an 84% Christian majority, Uganda may not seem a hotspot of Islamic activity. Yet, in recent weeks and months, story after story of attacks on Muslim converts to Christianity have emerged, with troubling implications beyond the intrinsic level. Consider the following anecdotes:
By Victor Davis Hanson:
One rare apology might in theory make things safer for Americans; lots of them in fact make things more dangerous for our troops. In general, if you apologize gratuitously when there is no need, remorse loses its currency in the rare cases when it might be necessary. All this saying “we are sorry” has also energized our enemies as much as it has depressed the public at home. Here’s why.
Geist Schools Brzezinski on Koran Riots: ‘Americans Wouldn’t Go in the Streets and Start Killing People’
by Dr. Marc Weisman:
With the presidential election looming, I thought it wise to revisit president Obama’s 2008 campaign theme. He ran on the adage, “hope and change.” Let’s look into hope and change, Obama style.
Islamism is so pervasive, so zany, so entrenched all over the world that I could throw a dart at the globe any random day and find a story to discuss involving extremism, violence, or oppression from its adherents. And it’s getting worse. Why is it getting worse, you ask? No doubt there are many reasons, but the one that sticks in my craw is that American weakness is largely responsible. Weakness will always invite aggression, and this president’s profound lack of leadership—weakness—has inspired our enemies the way fuel enrages wildfire. I guess we should have taken president Obama at his word and believed his conviction for “hope and change.” But hope for whom? What type of change?
Allow me to share a few examples for whom hope (and change) springs eternal due to the feckless actions of the Obama administration.
By Kira Davis:
A message to President Obama and the White House:
I’ve been inspired by our President’s sensitivity regarding international manners over the last few days…espeicially the courage he has shown in quickly issuing apologies to President Karzai of Afghanistan in the wake of the story about our military burning Korans outside of a detention facility. Our President is not afraid to apologize. Quite the contrary, he makes apologizing look easy. I want to be a part of the new international tone that Mr.Obama is setting with his sensitivity. I’d like to help. So I wrote my own apology to President Karzai, as a concerned citizen of the United States. Enjoy the video and a transcript is also posted below.
by Alan M. Dershowitz:
The Friends Seminary of New York, which invited the notorious anti-Semite, Gilad Atzmon, to one of its classes, and assigned its students to read his hate-filled writings, has now backed out of an agreement to invite me to the school to talk to the students about the evils of anti-Semitism. The Headmaster of the Friends Seminary, a school which is supposed to be committed to honesty and integrity, has broken his solemn promise to me, and to members of its own community, to allow its students to hear both sides of an issue which really has only one side: namely, the illegitimacy of bringing hate mongers into high school classrooms.
After I exposed the original invitations to Gilad Atzmon—who justifies the burning down of synagogues as “reasonable” response to Jewish efforts to “control the world”—the Headmaster of the school agreed to several things. First, he would speak at an assembly to the students about the evils of anti-Semitism; second, he would assign my essay to the students who were assigned Atzmon’s essay; and third, he would invite me to address the students. He has now broken each of these promises.
By John Bachman:
Foreign policy expert Robert Kagan tells Newsmax.TV that President Barack Obama has given Afghans, Pakistanis, and Americans just cause to question policies that have aggravated Middle East tensions.
Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of the new book, “The World America Made,” described America as “the strongest player in the international system.”
Asked what can be done to quiet growing rage after U.S. troops burned Qurans in a cleanup operation at the Bagram airbase near Kabul, Kagan said, “The larger thing the president needs to do is make sure we have a successful military strategy that allows us to succeed in Afghanistan.”
A man wearing Afghan army uniform shot and killed two U.S. troops Thursday as anti-American protests escalated, and protesters lobbed grenades at a U.S. base today.
“I would say he’s given every reason for people in the region, people in Afghanistan, people in Pakistan, and people in the United States to doubt that we have any staying power there. The talk now has been too much about getting out and that doesn’t help with the military effort,” Kagan said in a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV.
While Congress ignores it (or secretly supports it), the US courts continue to fall one by one towards accepting and utilizing Shari’a law in place of US law and the wholly-owned-by-the-totalitarian-Left-and/or-the-Saudis (same thing) media continue their mindless and largely irrelevant programming (to continue the mesmerization of the American people) Obama is openly supporting and assisting the Islamist takeover of the USA. I have been writing about this since prior to the Obama syndicate’s usurpation of the White House. However, it’s comforting to know that my more well-known brethren have at last gotten the message and are now, also, writing about it. In the end, we are all in this together!
Posted by Cjunk:
From science … to bad science … to fraud:
The real story in this Fakegate scandal is how the global warming movement is desperate, delusional, and collapsing as global warming fails to live up to alarmist predictions.
JUST IN TIME FOR THE ELECTION RUN-UP: Authorities rank “sovereign citizen” movement among greatest threats.
By Ted Belman:
What is going on now in American foreign policy is not so much a product of the Islamist lobby fueled by both the Muslim Brotherhood and the gulf states as it is a product of a strategic alliance that has existed between the U.S. and the gulf states led by Saudi Arabia since before Israel declared her independence. Unfortunately, President Obama, with his overt outreach to Islam, Muslims, and the Muslim Brotherhood, has taken it to another level.
It would appear that the ideas expressed by Mearsheimer and Walt in their book, The Israel Lobby, are being embraced by both the State Department and the White House. These include the idea that the Israel lobby is too strong for America’s good and that Israel is a liability to America.
But the truth is otherwise, as John R. MacArthur pointed out in 2007, in “The Vast Power of the Saudi Lobby”:
By Janet Levy:
Every February 21, a little-known observance occurs: International Mother Language Day. Created in 2000 to promote and encourage the diversity of language, this benign and idealistic-sounding commemoration actually marks a bloody day in 1952 when an Islamic minority shot and killed university students protesting the imposition of an Islamic language, Urdu, on a Bengali-speaking majority in Pakistan.
The students who died that day understood that forced reconfiguration of a language can have cataclysmic and devastating effects on a society. Community identification can be shifted, populations and their practices repressed, and the established rhythm of daily life disrupted.
In the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, Muslims have for centuries used Arabic languages as part of their jihad against Christians and Hindus. A blatant example of this phenomenon
‘What would happen with a scarf over my face?': Outrage of Fireman Sam creator detained and branded racist for innocent burqa joke at airport security
By BYRON TAU:
Oil magnates Charles and David Koch are firing back at President Obama’s reelection campaign over a fundraising letter tying Mitt Romney to their business interests.
In an open letter addressed to campaign manager Jim Messina, president of government & public affairs for Koch industries Philip Ellender accuses the Obama campaign of sending an “irresponsible and misleading letter” to supporters.
Norman Finkelstein is a leading light of the anti-Israel movement, including the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to destroy Israel through commercial, cultural, and legal sanctions imposed through international organizations and governments. Usually, nearly all who seek to destroy Israel and exterminate Jews use pious rhetoric about principles to obscure the raw hatred that is the wellspring of all their energy. But Finkelstein let his hair down recently on YouTube, and blurted out the truth.
There is some subtlety to this position and it probably reflects reality – to a point.
Since we are unable to look into the minds of the Iranian leadership, we can’t say with any degree of certainty that their intent is to build a nuclear bomb. Public statements about “wiping Israel off the face of the earth” by Ahmadinejad – a man who will not have the final say in any attack on Israel – are instructive but hardly proof in the sense that our intelligence experts can’t inform policymakers with any certainty that the threats are based on reality.
What we do know, is that they are assembling the hardware, the know-how, and technology to build a nuke if they choose.
by Lee Stranahan:
The religion and religious views of Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are all widely known. They are reported on, discussed, and insulted regularly in the press. On the other hand, discussing President Obama’s religious views is apparently not in the realm of permitted discussion. That’s because Obama’s religious philosophy seems to have a lot more to do with politics than spirituality – and the press doesn’t want you to know anything about it.
By Mark Steyn:
When it comes to human rights, I go back to 1215 and Magna Carta — or, to give it its full name, Magna Carta Libertatum. My italics: I don’t think they had them back in 1215. But they understood that “libertatum” is the word that matters. Back then, “human rights” were rights of humans, of individuals — and restraints upon the king: They’re the rights that matter: limitations upon kingly power. Eight centuries later, we have entirely inverted the principle: “Rights” are now gifts that a benign king graciously showers upon his subjects — the right to “free” health care, to affordable housing, the “right of access to a free placement service” (to quote the European Constitution’s “rights” for workers).
by The Right Scoop:
Michelle Obama has decided to join her husband’s campaign against the rich and is now holding fundraisers questioning how the rich can feel good about themselves when so many people are struggling. But Levin wants to know how she can keep taking all her vacations while so many families are having difficulty, thanks to her husband.
And that propels him into an excellent monologue. Listen below:
Why is it so bad when civilians mishandle guns, but no so when the police do? Both lost or stolen weapons are as likely to end up in the hands of criminals, but if a civilian unsafely stores his firearms, the legal ceiling caves in on him.
Consider that the same day Chief Graham was being rapped on the knuckles for leaving his pistol under his car seat, a Kingston, Ont. man, Jesse Sansone, was arrested – arrested! — because his four-year-old daughter drew a gun at kindergarten and mentioned to her teacher that she had seen a gun in the house. That’s the extent of the double standard on gun handling — police vs. citizens – in Canada. Mr. Sansone was not in charge of a police force that misplaced deadly riot equipment. He had not left a loaded deadly weapon under the front seat of his Corolla. His daughter drew a picture of a gun and talked about her daddy’s guns at pre-school and — wham! — the state buries him under a ton of bricks.
by Mytheos Holt Mytheos Holt:
The key message, especially for those with concerns about scandals like the one surrounding the Mosque being built at Ground Zero last year, is as follows:
It’s very seldom that a Mosque outfit will put forward a Mosque calling it a Mosque. They will always try and say it’s for the benefit of the community, it’s a prayer room, it’s a community center for all faiths or all ethnicities. No, it’s not, it’s going to be a Mosque, and if you disobey parts of Islamic law whilst you’re on the premises, you’d better look out. They go under all kinds of names and local authorities lap it up because local authorities are afraid to nullify the politically correct gravy train that they’re riding. It’s good business for them, and things go through under all kind of euphemisms, but they are Mosques.
It’s not religious practice, claim the Mosquebusters, it’s parking. Or noise pollution. Or building codes. And with downloadable petition templates, generic letters to councilors, and free legal advice for begrudged locals, it‘s Boby’s mission to make it as easy as possible for your average, disgruntled suburbanite to join in. If there’s a trial or hearing about planned construction, Boby will come down to the courthouse to provide free legal representation; if a mosque site has been proposed, he’ll arrange volunteers to paper a neighbourhood with flyers. But the Mosquebusters aren’t just a resource for aggrieved pensioners — the group actually wants its volunteers to spread out, actively trolling city planning offices and public records for mosque applications. “It is satisfying detective work, rooting around Islamic deviousness!” reads the instructional e-mail sent to volunteers.